How to Encourage Kids to Eat New Foods: 4 Ways

By Team Ahimsa



Time to Read: 6 min

How to Encourage Kids to Eat New Foods

Written by: Melissa Antal Iftimie, CEO/co-founder of Foublie

Some days feeding your kids probably feels easier than others. Know the feeling? Why is it never straightforward? It could be the weather, your mood, your little one’s appetite...there are lots of variables, most unpredictable. 

My company, Foublie is the pediatrician-approved virtual nutrition and location clinic. Our nutrition experts have helped so many families make mealtime easier. One question we get a lot is how to get a child to try new foods. I’m here to tell you there are some pretty easy things you can do to up the odds of mealtime bliss more in your favor. Want to guess where it starts? Well, you’re reading this blog at Ahimsa, so you better believe it begins with your little one’s plate!

So here we go, our favorite plate tricks that help all kids, including the picky ones, have happier mealtimes. 

Always serve a familiar food

Children really love a good routine, and that extends to having predictability in what they eat. You can use this to help your child try something new, while feeling safe. How does this work? The goal is to serve the new food (or food your little one doesn’t like yet) on a plate with other foods that they are already comfortable with. Start by placing 1 bite/1 spoonful of the new food on the plate, next to the other foods they already know. This strategy helps kids relax, and that increases the chance they will try something new.

About Ahimsa

Founded by a pediatrician and mom of three

Stainless steel is the only kid-friendly material recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics 

We are guided by a Scientific Advisory Council comprised of environmental and medical experts, guiding us in creating the safest products, following the latest science and promoting policy to protect human health and our planet

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How to make it work in practice? Use the divisions in the Ahimsa plate to your advantage. Use one of the small compartments as the place you always put a bite or two of something new.

Embrace Shapes and Faces

Another fun, proven, strategy we love for parents looking for picky eating help, or help with kids who don’t love all foods is to mix up how food is served. Try to physically arrange foods on a plate in a fun shape or color pattern. My go-to is a simple flower design with cut up apple slices for the petals and a berry as the center. You can swap in some new foods in the design. Want more ideas? Use smaller cookie cutters to make sandwiches into fun shapes – like stars, hearts, or flowers. The moms on Pinterest know what’s up and are a great source of inspiration. 

Not feeling creative? There is some research that a simple novel plate is enough to make food fun. The Ahimsa plate with it’s rainbow colors could be all you need!

Don’t Plate it At All

Take the pressure off eating by getting kids more involved. Have your kid serve themselves or point to the things they want. For example, serve the food family style on the table. The key here is that YOU pick the options they can choose from and they pick which ones they want to eat. It can be really hard to let go here, especially if they only pick the bread. But, over time this method will actually encourage your little one to pick more options and feel in control of what they are eating!

How to make it work? This is really good for older kids who can serve themselves, but the little ones can point and make choices too. Have confidence in your role- simply providing the food.

The Bottom Line

Remember, most toddlers and young kids are skeptical of new foods. They have to be! Some believe this is the way we have been protected from running off and trying poisonous berries for centuries. In summary:

  • Use familiar foods to introduce new foods. We like the 80/20 rule – 80% of the plate consists of foods your little one knows and loves and 20% can be foods they kind of like and maybe are just learning.
  • No matter how creative you may get with the design of your child’s plate, you can never go wrong with a relaxed attitude at meal times. 
  • Please don’t take it personally if your little one immediately refuses to even pick up the new food. Move on and know that you can try again tomorrow, with the same food or with a different new food. 
  • You’ve got this!

Mealtime Essentials

Want more help?

Head on over to Foublie, where we have lots of free resources on feeding kids. If you need some extra love, Foublie Coaches are here to help you make those small tweaks that can have powerful results. Ready to chat? We’re here for it!

Melissa Antal Iftimie is the CEO and co-founder of Foublie, Ahimsa Expert

Melissa Antal Iftimie is the CEO and co-founder of Foublie, the pediatrician-approved guide to feed your family. She’s worked with parents around the world for over 15 years, helping families feed their kids with confidence. Say hi at

Dr. Manasa Mantravadi

About Ahimsa Founder Dr. Manasa Mantravadi

Dr. Manasa Mantravadi is a board-certified pediatrician whose dedication to children’s health drove her to launch Ahimsa, the world's first colorful stainless steel dishes for kids. She was motivated by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ findings on harmful chemicals in plastic affecting children's well-being. Ahimsa has gained widespread recognition and been featured in media outlets such as Parents Magazine, the Today Show, The Oprah Magazine, and more.

Dr. Mantravadi received the esteemed “Physician Mentor of the Year” award at Indiana University School of Medicine in 2019. She was also named a Forbes Next 1000 Entrepreneur in 2021, with her inspiring story showcased on Good Morning America. She serves on the Council for Environmental Health and Climate Change and the Council for School Health at The American Academy of Pediatrics. She represents Ahimsa as a U.S. industry stakeholder on the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) for the Global Plastics Treaty, led by the United Nations Environment Program. Dr. Mantravadi leads Ahimsa's social impact program, The Conscious Cafeteria Project, to reduce carbon emissions and safeguard student health as part of a national pilot of the Clinton Global Initiative.

She is dedicated to educating and empowering people to make healthier, more environmentally friendly choices at mealtime. Her mission remains to advocate for the health of all children and the one planet we will leave behind for them through real policy change within our food system.

More Mealtime Essentials

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I use stainless steel instead of plastic? Is stainless steel better for health?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a report in July 2018 suggesting ways that families can limit exposure to certain chemicals at mealtime, including “the use of alternatives to plastic, such as glass or stainless steel, when possible.” The report explained that “…some additives are put directly in foods, while “indirect” additives may include chemicals from plastic, glues, dyes, paper, cardboard”. Further, “Children are more sensitive to chemical exposures because they eat and drink more, relative to body weight, than adults do, and are still growing and developing.” While stainless steel items meet the recommendation to avoid plastic products in children, Ahimsa® products have the obvious advantage of not breaking like glass.

Is stainless steel better for the environment than plastic?

According to the Steel Recycling Institute, steel can be recycled over and over and over again without losing its integrity and requires less energy to recycle than to make anew. Most plastic unfortunately ends up in landfills and it is estimated to take 700 years to decompose. Our special coloring process that allows Ahimsa® products to be fully metal is environmentally friendly, so it does not produce toxic run-off into the ecosystem.

Will Ahimsa products break or peel?

No. Our steel is durable, so it won’t break or shatter with everyday use, like glass. And it won’t peel, like other colored stainless steel products you’ve seen. We use a special process that allows the colors to naturally occur in the metal.

Which Ahimsa products are best for my little one(s)?

Our products are meant to last, you can use Ahimsa at ages 1, 8 and 18! We thoughtfully design our products to be safe for little ones and our planet while reducing consumption. Once your child outgrows the Starting Solids Set  and can use regular cups and utensils, the training cup is the perfect size rinse cup in the bathroom, the infant spoon doubles as a tea stirrer and the bowl is great for snacks or as an additional compartment to our modular divided plate. Our plates are great for any age as they encourage choosing a variety of healthy foods at each meal and help visualize portion sizes easily. It’s the lasting beauty of stainless steel - grows with your child and reduces waste.

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